Sita:The Warrior of Mithila

She is described as the daughter of the earth goddess, Bhūmi or Prithvi and the adopted daughter of King Janaka of Videha and his wife, Queen Sunaina. She has a younger sister, Urmila, and the female cousins Mandavi and Shrutakirti. Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity.On auspicious occasion of Sita Navami : The birthplace of Sita is disputed. Janakpur in the Eastern-Madhesh of Nepal and Sitamarhi, Bihar, India are described as Sita’s birthplace. The Sita Kund pilgrimage site is located at Sitamarhi and is viewed as the birthplace of Sita.

The name “Sita” has been derived from a Sanskrit word meaning, “furrow”, to indicate her being found by King Janak while plowing the field. It is also connected to a Vedic goddess of fertility of the land.She is also said to be the daughter of Mother Earth, and hence is also known as “Bhumije”. She was also known as “Vaidehi” during her exile in the forest and as “Rama” for being the beloved of Lord Ram.

An interesting fact about Sita is that she is also considered to be a reincarnation of Vedvati, whom Ravan had tried to molest while she was under penance, so as to become the consort of Lord Vishnu. She then cursed Ravana to become the cause of his destruction in her next birth.

But do you know that  In Sanghadasa’s Jaina version of Ramayana and also in Adbhuta Ramayana, Sita, entitled Vasudevahindi, is born as daughter of Ravana. According to this version, astrologers predict that first child of Vidyadhara Maya (Ravana’s wife) will destroy his lineage. Thus, Ravana abandons her and orders the infant to be buried in a distant land where she is later discovered and adopted by Janaka.

It was Maya Sita who was really kidnapped by Ravana, while the genuine Sita took shelter with the fire god Agni, who took her to the residence of Goddess Parvati. Afterward, she came back to Lord Ram after the war got over. Maya Sita is then said to have been renewed as Draupadi in her next life.

Secondly, there was a custom that only boys were allowed to get the formal education in Ashrams. And girls were not allowed to get the education. Even the teachers (Acharya) in the schools (Ashram) were male brahmins only. No female was allowed to be an Acharya and impart education to disciples. Sita vehemently argued against this misogynistic custom and listening to the insightful arguments of her wise daughter, Janak abolished the eons-old ban on women to get the education and allowed the girls of Mithila to get the formal education in the Ashrams.

Sita was not just an obedient and humble wife but she was a warrior.

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